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An error of punctuation in our last No. (p. 570, 1. 10) needs correction, where the (.) should immediately precede the word “whenever," and the remainder of the paragraph be read as one sentence; thus “ Whenever applied to a fallen spirit, the word,” etc. :— also (p. 2, 1. 7) for "gappings" read “ gapings":— (p. 175, 1. 26) for “ póßw” read “ poßą" :- (p. 268) extend the quotation from the N. A. Review to the end of the 4th line from bottom: (p. 450, 1. 9) for “and his " read “this ” : in the title of Art. VI. (p. 586 et seq.) for “ON” read "OF":- (p. 530, 1. 10) for “Stirling” read

“” · "Sterling."




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The microscopic editor at 15 Cornhill (up-stairs) never permits a W to slip into the place of an M, else even he could not have penned that criticism, in a single sentence, of our second article for November, — “ought to have known better than to write Silas Warner ;” read Marner, if you please, gentle friend, and charge the erratum not to the author of the article, wno, in this matter at least, knows quite as much as his censor. This is a small affair, and as ill-natured as trivial; yet perfectly characteristic of the source whence it comes. Good spelling is a good thing, and equally so are good manners, whether in a “ Congregationalist” or other functionary. Sit pæna merenti. By the way, does our critic give his curt dicta in parentheses in order to intimate (as our old grammar used to teach) that what is thus included is of no consequence, and might just as well be omitted, without injury to the sense ?

Errors of the press are certainly annoying; and seem likely to keep up indefinitely a standing demonstration that “there's no perfection here below.” But it does not prevent the editor aforesaid from printing his opinion that the last anniversary sermon before the American Board is one which few men in this country could produce, because the preacher, Rev. R. S. Storrs, Jr., D.D., sends off its copy in the haste of transcription (as now appears) with “ Indus” where "Tigris" should be, and “Marathon” in the place of “Salamis.” Did the “

“Congregationalist” know enough also to detect these grave mistakes? Possibly; but the advantages of being deaf in one ear have long been known in select circles. We have no hope of curing this infirmity in our neighbor ; in fact, have made this note merely to show the difference betwixt this and that.



VOL. II.-MARCH, 1862.—No. 8.



If a man say a triangle has four sides, we withhold from him our mathematical fellowship. With a broad toleration, we leave him to labor for the maintenance of his opinion. To be thus left is his right and our duty. If we, the while, employ pen and press to show that he is in a fundamental error, we submit that our endeavors should not be put under stigma and ban as persecution. That reproach should not be laid on us even if we refuse him a vacant mathematical chair, or insist that as the occupant of one he should vacate it, or teach the doctrines of the triangle according to the intent and constitutional foundation of his professorship. Orthodox geometricians have a right to defend the principles of Euclid without incurring the opprobrium of such a charge.

Yet the Westminster Review thus puts the case : 6. Defenders of the faith, as such, all bear about them the leprosy of intolerance." “Christian creeds have the generic quality of being all addicted to persecution.” (July, 1861.)

The enunciation of such a falsity comes about on this wise. Certain men, sacredly bound in religion, honor, and law to teach, preach, and defend the cardinals of Christianity, as held by the Church of England, break their pledge, and pervert their official standing, and the ancient foundations on which

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they have their living, by a labored and published attack on the essentials of the Christian religion. Calling these men to account, through the press, for breach of faith, perversion of trust, and the advocacy of infidelity, is intolerance and persecution, according to this Review, so zealous for free thinking.

Leaving the discussion of cases and personal issues, we propose some inquiries on the principles pertaining to religious fellowship and toleration.

An indispensable condition of fellowship is a cordial acceptance of the principles, policies, or forms, essential to the organization that gives or receives the fellowship. To have sincere fellowship with the Unitarians one must agree cordially to the unity of God, not to mention other points, as held by some, in distinction from the common view. Fellowship with Baptists must assent to their mode of baptism as the only scriptural one. The fellowship of Universalism requires a hearty faith in the doctrine of the final restoration of all the human family to holiness and heaven ; while infidelity asks our hearty acceptance of the moral and religious teachings of Voltaire, Hume, and Parker, for substance of doctrine.

These are points essential to the existence of these religious orders, and if the fellowship is to have a vitality and not a semblance merely, it must embrace and accept the essentials. It is an indorsement of them by the understanding and heart. The sceptic, the Calvinist, the papist, any religious order, agrees to this and requires it.

Where fellowship is thus extended public opinion interprets it as evidence of a unity of faith between the parties on fundamental points. This is more than is intended or done or supposed to be done, when those of different religious faiths and forms of worship and church polities unite for specific and temporary purposes on civic or festive or reformatory occasions. This is rather acting the citizen and reciprocating the courtesies and sympathies of life. Here is no compromising or confusing of religious creeds. It is the fellowship of good neighborhood and humanity, and to refuse it on religious scruples is intolerant and intolerable bigotry,

But we are necessarily brought into other relations to supposed error and errorists that cannot be so easily disposed of.

We may not compromise the claims of truth or suffer them to be compromised. Its peril enhances our responsibility. The lines may be so drawn, or inferences and popular impressions so forced, that neutrality is an impossibility for us, even if we were unworthy enough to wish it. Moreover, moral truth is always intolerant of its opposite. It would deny its nature were it otherwise ; and we should deny our friendship for it, were we to ignore or disregard the dividing lines between it and error. How much that is

wrong we may

suffer to pass

in silence, when to challenge it, and with how much of emphasis to enter a logical protest, or more summary veto, is a matter of times and circumstances.

One thing is evident. Whatever form and embodiment of error it is right and necessary to disavow when it is in its maturity, the same it is right and exceedingly wise to expose, subvert, and reprobate in its insidious and apparently harmless beginnings. In the matter of theological errors in essentials, the historic spirit becomes of necessity prophetic. He who is well read in the history of doctrines not only knows that there are very few new errors, but he knows the embryonic form of each, and can foretell and forewarn from the first and simplest manifestations. To resist those beginnings of infidelity or heresy is no more intolerant than to refuse fellowship to the organized and established system of scepticism or heterodoxy to which these will legitimately grow. And

yet criticism is seldom more severe or intolerant on a defender of the faith than when he thus labors to resist the beginnings of evil. If he exert himself thus where the least labor can accomplish the most, he is called an alarmist, a disturber of the peace, a meddler in petty differences, a bigot. He cannot gain credit for manliness and fair warfare unless he sleep at his post till the enemy are in full force on the field and covered by the best fortifications. It is well enough for an enemy to teach thus beyond his own lines, but when a professed friend or neutral does it he lays himself open to the gravest suspicions.

One familiar with the history of errors in the church is aware that the points of departure are few. The devious, intersecting, and bewildering paths into which men afterwards come are logical and inevitable necessities. When one is just taking his

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departure from the beaten track of truth in one of these devious paths, or has advanced so far as to foreshow to the historical eye his certain destination within the provinces of essential error, what tolerance or patronage does Christian liberty require us to extend to him ? He proposes to press the limits of religious thought farther and farther into the supposed unknown. He is speculative and assumes the popular pretension of being progressive, while it is seen that his new surveys do but cover old lines and landmarks that have been abandoned with the centuries by the friends of truth as untenable. How far, in such case, may we justly exercise a moral permission, or a moral veto ? Is it bigotry and intolerance to define again the old metes and bounds of the evangelical church, and give to variations and departures their well-known definitions and terms ?

A man changes his geographical position, and esteems it a favor that his new location is made known and he addressed accordingly. He changes his theological position, and he thinks for the better. He believes he has more truth in his new relations. He is not ashamed of the change. Why, then, should he not assume or allow a new theological address, descriptive of his new status? If he has become a Socinian, a Calvinist, an Arminian, or a Baptist, is it persecution to call him such ? Why should honorable men making honorable changes shrink from their new and appropriate title ? Or why characterize the difference between one school and another in theology as being the difference between old and new illustrations of truth, old and new methods of stating it, a steady and an impulsive. disposition, a soft and a hard hat, a black and a gray coat, while each side disputes the leading doctrinal points of the other ? Is not this ignoring or denying essential differences, that essential changes may be wrought without observation and alarm? We had supposed that the extensive and able controversy held during the last twenty-five years in New England about the New Divinity had for substance and bottom something more than a soft hat.

It is true that in other days sinister movements have been effected by some in theology before any change was apparent in their theological terms or denominational relations ; but we have not been wont to regard this as an honorable or defensible

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